April 20, 2018

Tucson Teacher Shares Reasons for Supporting Walkout Vote

Callista Radloff is member of the grassroots group Arizona Educators United.

Late this week educators across the state voted in support of a walkout on Thursday if their demands for more funding aren't met by Governor Doug Ducey and the state Legislature. The grassroots group Arizona Educators United tallied the ballots and announced the results alongside with the Arizona Education Association.

Callista Radloff teaches kindergarten at Safford K-8 in Tucson and is also a member of Arizona Educators United. She shared more about the group's next steps and motivations.

"We have asked our Legislature and governor to please fund our schools," Radloff said. "Teachers are not staying. The kids need the stability."

In response to Gov. Ducey's proposal to raise teacher pay 19 percent by 2020, Radloff questioned whether the funding sources for the plan are sustainable.

When discussing the impact on families and students, Radloff said parents she has spoken to support their protests. "This is a fight because we love our students."

At a news conference earlier this week, Tucson Unified School District Superintendent Gabriel Trujillo told reporters that in the event of a strike the district could help students with basic services like meals and transportation. The district doesn't have enough substitutes available to keep classrooms running.

"We're very supportive of our teachers," Trujillo said. "And certainly, we don't view any of their actions as anti-Tucson Unified School District."

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